James Earl Jones has a U-M degree. So does Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, opera great Jessye Norman, Google founder Larry Page, actress Lucy Liu, Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady, and more than 499,000 others who call themselves Michigan alumni.
Throughout the decades, Michigan graduates have helped shape the world with their words, actions, ideas and leadership. Arthur Miller crafted some of the 20th century’s most powerful dramas, and Tony Fadell created the iPod. Raoul Wallenberg saved thousands from the Holocaust, and Branch Rickey shattered racial barriers in professional baseball.
- James A. Chaffers, '69, '71, is an architect who served as senior design juror for the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial to be built on the National Mall Washington, D.C. He is a professor emeritus of architecture at U-M and the nation's first recipient of a doctoral degree in architecture.
- Charles Correa, '53, is a major figure in contemporary architecture whose works includes Bharat Bhavan Arts Centre in Bhopal, the Cidade de Goa Hotel at Dona Paula, the Bhopal State Assembly project, and the Kanchanjunga Apartments in Mumbai.
- Michele Oka Doner, '66, '68, is an artist known for public art installations such as the "Celestial Plaza" entry to New York City's Hayden Planetarium, "A Walk on the Beach" at Miami International Airport and "Flight" at Reagan International Airport.
- Robert Israel, '64, is a set and costume designer for theater and opera. His creations have been seen at the Lincoln Center Theater, the Metropolitan Opera, the National Operas in London and Tokyo, and the Paris Opera.
- Kenneth Jay Lane, '51-'52, is a fashion jewelry designer and owner of Kenneth Jay Lane Inc.
- Charles W. Moore, '47, was an architect and dean of the Yale University School of Architecture whose works include Piazza d'Italia in New Orleans and the Beverly Hills Civic Center. He is the only American architect to be awarded the AIA Gold Medal.
- Warren Robbins, '49, was an art collector whose collection of African art led to the establishment of the Museum of African Art, forerunner to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art.
- Tony Rosenthal, '36, was a sculptor best known for his large public art sculptures. He created The Cube in Regents Plaza on U-M's campus.
- Theodore C. Freeman, '60, was in one of the third group of astronauts selected by NASA in October 1963. He was killed in a training accident in 1964.
- Karl G. Henize, '54, became a scientist-astronaut in 1967. He flew as a mission specialist on the space shuttle Challenger's 1985 Spacelab-2 mission.
- James B. Irwin, '57, was lunar module pilot of Apollo 15, which in 1971 carried a crew of fellow alumni David R. Scott and Alfred Worden. On the moon, he and Scott were the first to drive the lunar rover.
- Jack R. Lousma, '59, was the pilot for Skylab 3 in 1973 and commander of the space shuttle Columbia in 1982.
- James A. McDivitt, '59, was command pilot of Gemini 4, a 1965 mission in which fellow alumnus Ed White became the first American to walk in space. He was commander of Apollo 9 in 1969.
- David R. Scott, '49-'50, flew on Gemini 8 in 1966. He was command module pilot for Apollo 9 in 1969. In 1971, he flew on Apollo 15 with fellow alumni James B. Irwin and Alfred Worden; on the moon, he and Irwin were the first to drive the lunar rover.
- Edward H. White II, '59, was the first American to walk in space and flew aboard Gemini 4 with fellow alumnus James A. McDivitt. He died in 1967 in an Apollo launch pad fire and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.
- Alfred M. Worden, '63, was command module pilot for Apollo 15 in 1971, when his crewmates were fellow alumni James B. Irwin and David R. Scott.
- David Barger is the founder, chief executive officer and director of JetBlue Airways.
- Henry W. Bloch, '43, is co-founder and honorary chairman of the board of H&R Block, the world's largest tax services company.
- Manuel Luis Del Valle, '47, was president of Bacardi Corp.
- Mary Kay Haben, '79, is group vice president and managing director, North America, of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company.
- James P. Hackett,'77, is president, CEO and director of Steelcase Inc.
- Rob Pelinka, '93, '96, is president and CEO of The Landmark Sports Agency, which he founded.
- A. Alfred Taubman, HLLD '48, founded the Taubman Company, one of America's premier real estate developers and operator of regional shopping centers.
- Charles Walgreen, '28, was the founder of Walgreen's drugstores.
- Ari Weinzweig, '78, is co-founder of Zingerman's Deli and wrote Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating.
- Fred Wilpon, '58, is chairman and chief executive officer of the New York Mets, co-founder and chairman of the Board of Sterling Equities, and co-founder and chairman of the Brooklyn Baseball Company, which owns the Brooklyn Cyclones, a minor league team.
- Rodolfo Arévalo, '72, '73, is president of Eastern Washington University.
- Joanne V. Creighton, '69, is president of Mount Holyoke College.
- Antonio Flores, '90, is president and chief executive officer of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.
- Walter Harrison, '69, is president of the University of Hartford.
- James D. Spaniola, '75, is president of the University of Texas-Arlington.
- Rev. Gerard J. Stockhausen, '85, is president of the University of Detroit Mercy.
- Beverly Daniel Tatum, '76, '84, is president of Spelman College.
- Charles M. Vest, '64, '67, is president of the National Academy of Engineering and president emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- David L. Warren, '76, is president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and president emeritus of Ohio Wesleyan University.
- Jon Wefald, '65, is president of Kansas State University.
- Arden L. Bement, Jr., '63, is director of the National Science Foundation and former director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
- Tony Fadell, '91, created the iPod. He is senior vice president, iPod Division, Apple.
- Clarence "Kelly" Johnson, '32, '33, is considered one of America's greatest aircraft designers. He established the legendary Lockheed Skunk Works and created such classic aircraft as the P-38, the F-104, the U-2, and the SR-71 Blackbird during his 40-year career.
- Bill Joy, '75, is co-founder of Sun Microsystems. Fortune magazine has called him the "Edison of the Internet."
- Thomas Knoll, '82, '84, is co-creator of Adobe Photoshop.
- Jeff Masters, '82, '83, '97, co-founded the Weather Underground, the most widely translated weather Web site in the world.
- Kevin O'Connor, '83, is co-founder and CEO of DoubleClick Inc.
- Larry Page, '95, is co-founder of Google, the world's most popular Internet search engine.
- Mary L. Petrovich, '85, is chief executive officer of AxleTech International.
- Claude Shannon, '36, is considered the father of information theory.
- Bill Flemming, '49, was one of the original announcers for ABC-TV's "Wide World of Sports." He also announced 11 Olympic Games for ABC.
- Robin Givhan, '88, is the fashion editor for the Washington Post. She won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2006.
- Cathy Guisewhite, '72, is a cartoonist and creator of the long-running comic strip "Cathy."
- Daniel Okrent, '69, is a writer and editor who was the public editor for The New York Times. He is the author of Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center.
- Walter Shapiro, '70, is an award-winning political columnist and writer whose work appears in USA Today. He has written for Time, Newsweek, Esquire, and the Washington Post.
- William Shawn, '25-'27, was editor of The New Yorker for 35 years.
- David C. Turnley, '77, and Peter Turnley, '78 are twin brothers and award-winning photojournalists. David won the Pulitzer Prize for photography in 1989.
- Mike Wallace, '39, is a longtime correspondent for TV's "60 Minutes."
- Roger Wilkins, '53, '56, was a journalist with the Washington Post. He shared the 1973 Pulitzer Prize with Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward for his editorials about President Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal.
- Daniel Zwerdling, '71, is a correspondent for National Public Radio. His broadcasting awards include the DuPont, Peabody, Edward R. Murrow, the Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Robert F. Kennedy awards for investigative reporting.
- Keith L. Black, '78, '81, is a neurosurgeon known for his pioneering work in treating brain tumors. He is chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery and director of the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
- Alexa Canady, '71, '75, is the country's first African-American female neurosurgeon. For almost 15 years, she served as chief of neurosurgery at Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit.
- Benjamin S. Carson, '77, is a pediatric neurosurgeon and director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University. He is the first physician to successfully separate twins joined at the head.
- Kathryn Clark, '90, is NASA's chief scientist for the Human Exploration & Development of Space Enterprise. She previously was chief scientist for the International Space Station Program.
- Sanjay Gupta, '90, '93, is chief medical correspondent for CNN and associate chief of the Neurosurgery Service at Atlanta's Grady Memorial Hospital.
- Jerome P. Horwitz, '50, was an organic chemist who in 1964 synthesized AZT in 1964, a drug now used to treat AIDS.
- William J. Mayo, 1883, was a physician and co-founder of Mayo Clinic.
- Antonia Novello, '74, was the first woman and first Latina to be surgeon general of the United States.
- John Clark Sheehan, '38, '41, was a chemist who pioneered the first synthetic penicillin breakthrough in 1957.
- Kimberlydawn Wisdom, '82, '91, is the surgeon general of Michigan. She was the nation's first state surgeon general and was appointed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm in 2003.
- Stanley Cohen, '48, is the co-winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for discovering growth factors in human and animal tissue.
- Jerome Karle, '44, is a physical chemist who worked on the Manhattan Project. He shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1985 for "outstanding achievements in the development of direct methods for the determination of crystal structures."
- Marshall W. Nirenberg, '57, shared the 1968 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his work uncovering the role of messenger RNA in the protein synthesis process.
- H. David Politzer, '69, is a physicist at the California Institute of Technology. He shared the 2004 Nobel Prize in physics for discovering the nuclear force that binds together quarks and holds together the nucleus of the atom.
- Richard E. Smalley, '65, was a chemist who shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in chemistry for the co-discovery of carbon clusters known as fullerenes.
- Samuel C.C. Ting, '59, '62, is a physicist who was awarded Nobel Prize in physics in 1976 for "pioneering work in the discovery of a heavy elementary particle of a new kind."
- Thomas H. Weller, '36, '37, shared the 1954 Nobel Prize in medicine for his research on the polio virus.
- Gavin Creel, '98, was nominated in 2002 for a Tony Award for his role in "Thoroughly Modern Millie." He also appeared in "Bounce," a musical by Stephen Sondheim, and the movie, "Eloise at the Plaza."
- Chip Davis, '69, is the founder of the music group Mannheim Steamroller, which has sold more than 36 million albums.
- David Allen Grier, '78, has appeared in TV's "Chocolate News," "In Living Color," "Life with Bonnie" and "DAG." He has appeared onstage in "Dream Girls" and "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."
- James Earl Jones, '55, appeared in "Field of Dreams" and "A Clear and Present Danger." He was the voice of Darth Vader in the "Star Wars" series and also appeared onstage and in the film, "The Great White Hope."
- Lucy Liu, '90, has acted in TV shows "Ally McBeal," "NYPD Blue" and "ER." She was also in the movies "Charlie's Angels," "Payback," "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" and "Chicago."
- Strother Martin, '47, was an actor in such movies as "Cool Hand Luke," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," and "True Grit," and "The Wild Bunch."
- Bob McGrath, '54, played Bob was on TV's "Sesame Street."
- Jessye Norman, '68, is an acclaimed opera singer who has won four Grammy Awards.
- Jack O'Brien, '61, '62, is a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer of such hits as "The Full Monty" and "Hairspray."
- John Rich, '48, '49, directed some of TV's most popular shows, including "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "All in the Family," "Newhart," and "The Brady Bunch."
- Mary Frances Berry, '66, '70, is the former chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She served on the Commission under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.
- Clarence Darrow, 1878, was an attorney for the famous "Scopes Monkey Trial" and the Leopold-Loeb murder trial.
- Gerald R. Ford, '35, was the 38th president of the United States.
- Richard Gephardt, '65, was majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1989 to 1995. He represented Missouri and was a former Democratic presidential candidate.
- Tom Hayden, '60-'61, is an activist who has served in the California State Assembly and State Senate. He was a founding member of the Students for a Democratic Society.
- Nancy Landon Kassebaum, '56, was a U.S. senator who represented Kansas from 1978 to 1997.
- Valerie Jarrett, '81, is senior adviser to President Barack Obama.
- Amalya Lyle Kearse, '62, is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
- Ken Salazar, '81, is the U.S. Secretary of the Interior and a former U.S. senator from Colorado.
- Raoul Wallenberg, '35, was a diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust by giving them Swedish passports during World War II.
- Red Berenson, '62, '66, played professional hockey for the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings. He has led the U-M hockey team to two national championships.
- Tom Brady, '00, plays quarterback for the New England Patriots. He has twice been named Super Bowl MVP and the 2007 NFL MVP.
- Janet Guthrie, '60, was the first woman to qualify and compete in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500.
- Tom Harmon, '41, was a football player, Heisman Trophy winner and sportscaster.
- Desmond Howard, '92, was an NFL football player and a Heisman Trophy winner.
- Micki King, '65, won an Olympic gold medal for diving in 1972 and is a member of the United States Olympic Hall of Fame.
- Branch Rickey, '11, was president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was instrumental in bringing Jackie Robinson to the major leagues and breaking the color barrier.
- Cazzie Russell, '64-'66, played in the NBA with the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers.
- Rudy Tomjanovich, '70, is a former NBA all-star and coach who also coached the gold medalist USA men's basketball team in the 2000 Summer Olympics.
- Charles Woodson, '97, is a cornerback for the Green Bay Packers and a Heisman Trophy winner.
- Christopher Paul Curtis, '00, is the author of the children's books Elijah of Buxton and The Watsons Go to Birmingham: 1963, both of which received Newberry Honor Book awards.
- Judith Guest, '59, wrote Ordinary People. The novel was made into an Academy Award-winning movie directed by Robert Redford.
- Lawrence Kasdan, '70, '72, wrote the screenplays for "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "The Big Chill," "Grand Canyon" and "The Accidental Tourist."
- Jane Kenyon, '70, '72, was a poet whose collections include From Room to Room, The Boat of Quiet Hours, Let Evening Come, and Constance.
- Elizabeth Kostova, '04, is author of the bestseller The Historian.
- Ross MacDonald, '42, '52, wrote the hard-boiled detective mysteries featuring Lew Archer. MacDonald was a pseudonym for Kenneth Millar.
- Arthur Miller, '38, was one of the great playwrights of the 20th century and wrote award-winning dramas "Death of a Salesman," "The Crucible," and "Playing For Time." He received the Pulitzer Prize for "Death of a Salesman."
- Susan Orlean, '76, wrote The Orchid Thief. The novel was made into the movie "Adaptation."
- Betty Smith, '21-'22, '27, '31, wrote A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
- Chris Van Allsburg, '72, is the writer and illustrator of The Polar Express, Jumanji, and The Wreck of the Zypher.